break it down again

Now that Tyson has been here for a few days it’s become painfully obvious that there’s a juvenile delinquent in my house, and I don’t mean Rex. Tyson is a little over a year old. As the ubiquitous “they” say, in human years he’s about seven years old. Like a seven year old, everything fascinates him and everything must be tested until it breaks, explodes, or screams for mercy. So far, I’ve caught him wandering around with a wristwatch, a sock, and a television remote control in his mouth. A stuffed rat, a tube of white acrylic paint, and a roll of duct tape have all exploded. And Rex has screamed for mercy on three different occasions. Oh yeah, and a throw pillow was actually thrown.

Putting things out of Tyson’s reach is useless, because his legs are freakishly long and he can pretty much reach anything. I’d have to glue everything to the ceiling to keep it from him. This means I’ve spent the past three days on his tail, watching and waiting for him to touch his nose to anything that shouldn’t be touched, at the ready to say a stern NO! when he tries to take something that doesn’t belong to him. It seems to be working, because nothing has been destroyed or mysteriously vanished today.

While keeping a stern and watchful eye on him is tiresome, it has impressed upon Tyson that I’m the boss. At first he was very anxious about being here and would run away from me, cowering, when I reprimanded him. But now he’ll duck his head sheepishly and walk up to me after I tell him not to do something, ready to given a more productive task, like sitting or laying down, or to be given something he’s allowed to chew on, like a bone or Rex’s throat.

Fortunately, Rex seems to like Tyson. Unfortunately, Tyson seems to look to Rex for guidance. If Rex sits down, Tyson sits down. If Rex runs to the stairs to see if someone is coming through the front door, Tyson is close on his heels. If Rex jumps on a visitor–wait, what do I mean by “if?” The good thing is that I can use this to my advantage. By working with Rex I can train Tyson by osmosis. Today we went for a walk and, at first, Tyson was all over the place. Off-leash, Rex can act like a retarded kangaroo on speed. But when he’s on a leash, Rex is brilliant. I switched them so they were both side by side on my left. After a block, Tyson was following Rex’s behavior, and I suddenly had two impressive dogs walking at my side. I’m going to have to work regular walks into our routine.

Because of all this, I’m recommending that Tyson be adopted into a home with an older dog (not a retarded pickle eating kangaroo-dog on speed) that he can look to for guidance. I think he’d love to have kids to follow around. I’ve gently pulled on his legs and played with his ears while he was sleeping (Don’t try this at home, kids!) and he only grinned, stretched, and fell into an even deeper sleep while I did it. I’ve nudged him with my knee and pet him while he’s eating, and he didn’t seem to care, which is great. He has no aggressions, as far as I can tell. He’s a good boy. Like any kid, he just needs proper guidance.

About timothyjlambert

Timothy J. Lambert is allegedly a writer.
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30 Responses to break it down again

  1. _jandy_ says:

    “a retarded pickle eating kangaroo-dog on speed”

    HAHHAHA

    those silly boys…

    how great that he looks to rex for guidance tho! he sounds like such a sweet puppy. :)

  2. geb1966ky says:

    Good luck with Tyson!

  3. markgharris says:

    I’m glad I read this… from the looks of your new banner, I’d have been worried, otherwise. : )

    • Right? It’s hard to believe that’s a photo of them playing. Tyson’s so casual when he’s playing. He just thwaps Rex on the back with those huge paws of his, which sends Rex into a frenzy.

  4. auntaberta says:

    Tyson

    Totally endearing when it is happening in some one else’s home… Seriously, I’m glad Tyson and Rex are hitting it off and you have time to work with Tyson. I’ve begun checking out a local shelter, so my interest in Tyson got me started on a good path. Happy New Year!

  5. davidpnyc says:

    You are a modern day Dr. Doolittle. :)

    I’m glad I read this entry before seeing your new banner. Otherwise I might have said it looks like it’s missing the caption “Release the hounds!”

  6. Aww. So cute reading about it happening in someone else’s personal space!

    Keep up the good work with the behavioral conditioning and, if needed, cognitive doggie therapy, Mr. Timothy. Hope you & the pups have a holly jolly happy not crappy New Year’s Eve in a few days as well.

  7. sappho_love says:

    Not only do you open your heart and home, but you work with them ensuring that they don’t end back up “in the system” because of bad behavior problems?! That is totally awesome! I’ve read about dogs going back to shelters and rescues because new owners expect the animals to arrive trained and ready to go. It’s so sad that once they bring a new family member home, they think that there should be no work involved and if the work is too cumbersome- they they should just return their new relative. It’s so sad.

    • “I’ve read about dogs going back to shelters and rescues because new owners expect the animals to arrive trained and ready to go.”

      That does happen. But it’s better the dogs go back to the shelter or rescue than be listed on Craigslist, or given to someone else, or abandoned again. (I’m sure you feel the same, but I felt I had to put that out there.)

      • sappho_love says:

        I agree that it is better that they go back so that a new qualified owner can be found versus abandoning or giving away to ANYONE willing to take them. However, personally I think the BEST choice would be to invest the time, effort and money to train the dog if they don’t know how to- before they give up on the dog.

          • sappho_love says:

            I’m glad you agree- I’m really sensitive about this, my mother recently gave away one of the dogs I gave her. She said it was because after her dog had puppies she would pee all over the floor marking before and behind the other dog and this went on for a year. It broke my heart that she gave up up one of “my” babies and gave her away- especially over a behavior that was new and in my opinion temporary if she’d bothered to invest time and energy in simply retraining her. What’s even weirder is that I found her on Petfinder and emailed the rescue about how upset I was and they replied back pretty much saying don’t worry she would be fine. Then I saw that she had been adopted and I emailed them several times how happy I was and asked about the family that adopted her and they NEVER responded to my emails! My mom said that she had started peeing/marking at the rescue too and that coupled with the fact that they wont respond to me made me worry about the home they sent her to. Is that overly paranoid?

          • There’s nothing paranoid about caring about an animals welfare and well being. But I’m guessing the rescue org didn’t respond because they want to protect the family’s privacy. It’s in the best interest for everyone involved for the rescue to disclose as much information about an animal as possible, good and bad behavior, so the animals aren’t returned or dumped on the street again. So I’m willing to bet that they told the new family about her peeing/marking issues. Because that’s the kind of thing that would make a new family turn right around the next day and return a dog.

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